FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Last Golden Day

The best time to visit the Jersey Shore is just after Labor Day, when the tourists are gone, the water is warm, and the shops on the boardwalk are closing out their inventory. The motel deals are better, and better still for regular customers. On September 8, 2001, I booked a room in the Owl’s Nest Motel in Somer’s Point, NJ, for me and my girlfriend. We drove down from New York City early Saturday morning, checked in, and drove over the bridge to Ocean City to hit the beach and the boardwalk.

I gave her a little cap that I’d gotten from John Strausbaugh, my editor at the time at NY Press, and the man who put that little rag on the map. It was from a solid non-Village Voice alternative weekly in Seattle called The Stranger, a true independent. It was black, with the words “I am a dangerous terrorist” written across the brow. People thought it was funny, this little 5’2″ kindergarten teacher of Danish extraction, wearing this hat. People smiled at her. We ate pork roll sandwiches and Mack And Manco pizza, to my mind the very best in the world. We drank Pennsylvania Dutch Root Beer. We body-surfed until we were exhausted by the magnificent warm embracing surf. We had a nice meal and walked the boards for a while, then retired back to our room to get drunk and stoned.

The next morning, September 9, we checked out and headed back over the bridge into Ocean City. The water temperature was in the 80s, nearly the same as the air. The surf was incredible. We bought a kite shaped like a flying saucer, and, with some effort, actually got it to fly. We ate Taylor’s Pork Roll sandwiches and Mack & Manco pizza, bought some houseplants for her classroom, and reluctantly headed back North on the Garden State Parkway, back to New York City. She had to teach her kindergarten class the next day, and I had to get ready to fly up to Boston to load out Cirque du Soleil.

As we cruised over the ramp leading to the Holland Tunnel, we were amazed to see the Twin Towers aflame in the glorious industrial sunset of Northern New Jersey. The various hydrocarbons, pollutants, and whatnot in the air over Jersey had produced a gorgeous golden-pink light, and it was reflecting off of those towers as if they were the source of it. Like most New Yorkers, we had always hated those things. Big stupid boxes, none of the elegant Art Deco charm of the true skyscrapers, and a direct insult to the majesty of the Empire State Building and the ineffably beautiful Chrysler Building. They were tacky, unimaginative monstrosities. But in that moment, that golden moment, they were beautiful beyond compare, two shining beacons of heavenly, otherworldly light. We were completely stunned by their beauty.

That was the first time we’d ever perceived them as beautiful, and the last time we saw them. That was the Last Golden Day before the End Of The World.

ALAN CABAL lives in Mountain View, California. He can be reached  at al_cabal@yahoo.com

 

More articles by:

ALAN CABAL lives in Mountain View, California. He can be reached  at al_cabal@yahoo.com

February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
Thomas Knapp
The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC
Mitchel Cohen
A Tale of Two Citations: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”
Jake Johnston
Haiti and the Collapse of a Political and Economic System
Dave Lindorff
It’s Not Just Trump and the Republicans
Laura Flanders
An End to Amazon’s Two-Bit Romance. No Low-Rent Rendezvous.
Patrick Walker
Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal
Natalie Dowzicky
The Millennial Generation Will Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Nick Licata
Of Stress and Inequality
Joseph G. Ramsey
Waking Up on President’s Day During the Reign of Donald Trump
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
Rob Urie
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State
Jim Kavanagh
The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire
Paul Street
Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson
Andrew Levine
World Historical Donald: Unwitting and Unwilling Author of The Green New Deal
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
Eric Draitser
Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy
Ron Jacobs
Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption
Joyce Nelson
Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer
Jonathan Cook
In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers’ Reign of Terror
Ramzy Baroud
Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide
Robert Fantina
Congress, Israel and the Politics of “Righteous Indignation”
Dave Lindorff
Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy
Kathy Kelly
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan
Brian Cloughley
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro?
Nicky Reid
The Councils Before Maduro!
Gary Leupp
“It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail